Monday, May 2, 2011

Cuevas en el Bosque de Guajataca

On Sunday we needed some fun. We have been showing the house to people, Jeff smashed his car, we've remodeled the bathroom etc etc. Tom had spent the past couple weeks hiking all over in the states and Jeff had spent the last week in a cave rescue class but going caving was still the activity of choice. We did consider kayaking and diving but ended up underground in the Guajataca Forest. The first cave we visited was Cueva Efrain Lopez. We hiked along the trails until we reached the cave. This was a short cave you could practically see the end of just looking into it. Hmmmm, why would Tom bring us here? So we wandered to the back looking at some large formations.

Here Diana is near a very interesting formation that didn't look natural. Diana found this sad sight - a newborn baby bat on the ground complete with its placenta. It was really large for a newborn so I don't quite understand what happened.


We wandered on toward the back of the cave and got to a spot where we had to climb a ledge that went up and around the edge of a pit. Kind of creepy in a good way but a little difficult (you had to be careful anyway) because of all the mud. This cave is very muddy. Here is Jeff navigating the ledge with Diana below.

After that we went "out" and Tom's intentions became clear - there was another passage near the entrance that had a little squeeze and led into another muddy and interesting place. Here is the proud man showing off his little squeeze area!

There were a few straws and nice formations.

Here's Diana coming out the squeezy area. This is the big part of it - there is a short constricted area (always Jeff's favorite thing).

So on this "short" trip we decided to visit another cave, Cueva Ortega, by hiking the overland route. This means a theoretical "shortcut" involving aimless wandering around up and over very steep terrain in the jungle. This of course was aided by not one, but 2 GPS devices that were not agreeing. We did arrive finally and the entrance was very large. It was a short (as in not deep) cave and I wondered why we went to it since it did not seem spectacular. I figured we visited it because we were there so why not. On the way out though the view was spectacular! This alone would have made it worth it...but.....

Inside was not super interesting until I was called over because of a '"Katrina hole." A Katrina hole used to be a hole a too small for most humans...something only I can explore because of my size and flexibility. Lately the guys have gotten lazy and a Katrina Hole is anything they don't want to go in (they don't want to slither in guano). I don't get as excited as I used to when they exclaim their discovery of a Katrina Hole. Well this one did require me to be on my stomach in guano...I did have to move by pushing with my feet...and I was rewarded with an amazing room that was unlike anything else in the cave! Only I got to see it! Amazing!

I call it the Helictite Room since it was covered in the things - formations pointing in anti-gravity angles. It was a low area and I had to be very cautious. The formations on the left were maybe 2 feet tall.

Lots of neat and bizarre shapes. It was very exciting to be in a room that few if any people have been in.

I was able to turn around so I could come out head first. I stayed in for quite a while because it was so neat. I showed the photos when I got out. Then we headed back via a trail instead of the direct but difficult route. It was a long walk out. We got back in the car and headed to the Miller's where Diana made some fajitas...had some wine...and then we drove back home. It was another adventure and the stuff that makes life worth living. Just walking in the jungle is amazing but going underground is just unreal. We are fortunate to live where we can do this all the time and do it with good friends! What's next?

1 comment:

Rosa said...

Amazing pictures...beautiful. Thanks for always sharing.